Ghost of the Navigator

How good is Ghost of the Navigator on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    58

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
My favorite part of this song is the intro, the buildup, the verses, the pre-chorus, the second pre-chorus, the chorus, the solo, and the instrumental interlude.

I also like how the chorus melody is harmonized for a brief moment at the end.

The low guitar harmony under "nothing's real until you feel?" That's all Adrian.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Best song on the album. A tribute to the new combination of writers. Epic unto this day. 10/10.
 

BeThyJames

Trooper
Great atmosphere in this song and I like the thematic lyrics. The whole band is on fire throughout. There's something about the choppy transitions between the different sections that I'm not keen on but it is a cool song and another one that is enhanced by listening to RiR.

8
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Great song. Bruce wrote the perfect lyrics for this one, fits very well with the melodies Janick came up with. The intro and the build-up is fantastic.

9/10
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
10/10

Ghost of the Navigator is a masterful piece of songwriting by Janick Gers with some truly powerful lyrics by Bruce about sailing through the turbulent seas of life. Clean guitars open the track like the sea at low tide before the storm picks up during the verses and a massive wave crashes onto the rocks of the syncopated pre-chorus. The riffs are tight, the vocals are soaring, and Nicko’s drums are absolutely furious. After two albums of uninspired drumming and production, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear Nicko find himself again on this album. The mix is perfect, from snares to kick to pummeling toms, and Nicko absolutely slays on Ghost of the Navigator. Apparently he’s not using a double bass pedal during the bridge, which is absolutely mind-boggling. Janick’s guitar solo may be his best ever. It perfectly compliments both the melody and the chaotic feel of the song. Plus, there’s sweep-picking! Although this is his fifth album with the band, a lot of fans still felt Janick had something to prove and he proves it here in spades.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
The problem with this song is that it lures you into thinking it's great. Spoilers: It isn't. The music in the verses, with it's fast, heavy pace, feels like something off of SSOASS, but the chorus and the stuff that comes after it just isn't what it's cracked up to be. It'd be a 5/10 if it weren't for the guitar in the verses. As it is, it's a very, very, very, very low 7/10.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Another very strong 9. This is almost like a mini-epic (if it'd been fully developed into another one of the band's extended epics it would get a 10 so hard it would be almost an 11). The main riff is one of the coolest Maiden have ever come up with, and... well, it just blows you away. Haunting vocal performance from Bruce and an instrumental that makes you feel just like you're actually on a rocking ship. Fantastic song!
 

GiovaOfficial

Powerslave
Incredible song. The intro is as good as it gets, and the song develops very well. Both verses and chorus are thoughtful and very well executed. Great songwriting that had a bit vanished during the Blaze era. 10/10
 

Palpy

Blacker than the night
I'd like to point out that the song is probably inspired by Dante's Ulysses instead of the one we know thanks to Odyssey.
Ulysses appears in 26th canto of Inferno in the Divine Comedy, where is damned with Diomede for being a "fraudulent counselor" during his life (he convinced Achilles to participate in the Trojan War and he did something else - Trojan Horse, Palladium theft, etc) and he tells Dante how he died: after coming back to Penelope he left his homeland again to cross the Pillars of Hercules (the Strait of Gibraltar) and reach the unknown hemisphere of the world, which was supposed to be without lands and without inhabitants. When Ulysses saw the mountain of Purgatory from a distance God decided to put an end to his and his companions' lives, even if he isn't in Hell for this deed.
Dante could never read the whole Odyssey; he based this part of his work on different Roman sources (Ovid, Seneca, Cicero, Virgil, Horace) and medieval legends, so he just had available comments of some passages, (the proem and the episode of the sirens) some quotes about the character and a transcription in Latin of the proem. While Homer underlines various aspects of the "scelerum inventor" (inventor of misfortunes, as Virgil describes him in his Aeneid) related to the Greek culture, Dante focuses on his curiosity and his search for knowledge.



I have sailed to many lands,
now I make my final journey
On the bow I stand,
west is where I go


In his journey through the Mediterranean after the Trojan War Ulysses has actually "sailed to many lands", and in medieval legends he decides later to head west, towards the Pillars. (Ithaca is in Greece, Gibraltar in the Iberian Peninsula)



Through the night I plough, still my heart,
calculate and pray
As the compass swings,
my will is strong,
I will not be led astray

[...]

Nowhere left to run,
navigator’s son,

Chasing rainbows all my days
Where I go I do not know,
I only know the place I’ve been


During Middle Ages nobody really knew what was to the west of Europe and Africa, and the navigators knew that their beliefs were nothing but speculations, hence the uncertainty of Ulysses. He doesn't know where he's going, so "I only know the place I've been" (the part of world then known) acquires a very intriguing meaning when the last unknown path is undertaken, the only one left to be explored to the "son"s of the navigators of the past.



I see the ghosts of navigators
but they are lost
As they sail into the sunset
they’ll count the cost
As their skeletons accusing
emerge from the sea
The sirens of the rocks,
they beckon me


"The ghosts of navigators" may be the travel friends of Ulysses, who die in both these journeys in different ways and places, but probably they are just who followed him in the second one as "they sail into the sunset", meaning west. It is just as likely that Ulysses is persecuted by their memory even if he continues to pursue knowledge, metaphorically represented by the sirens: it was said that whoever listened to their song obtained an incommensurable wisdom if survived their meeting, as Ulysses does in a famous episode of the Odyssey commented by Cicero.



I steer between the crashing rocks,
the sirens call my name
Lash my hands onto the helm,
blood surging with the strain
I will not fail now as
sunrise comes the darkness left behind
For eternity I follow on there is no other way
Mysteries of time clouds that hide the sun
But I know, I know


His journey leads Ulysses to see the mountain of Purgatory from afar, from which Dante later succeeds in arriving in Heaven. Although in the Divine Comedy it's described as a "folle volo", (which literally means mad flight, but in Divine Comedy madness isn't losing your mind, but losing your faith) the path of Ulysses in the song is seen in a different way: it is a path of redemption, in which Ulysses uses all his strength to get as close as possible to God ("the sun" hidden by "clouds"). But the redemption, characteristic of Purgatory, is not granted to those who are condemned to Hell. And now he knows, he knows.
 
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Jer

My sins are many
A nice, moody opening steadily builds into a driving riff. Great verse. Bruce sounds terrific.

The pre-chorus is a bit odd and disconnected, but recovers into a strong and catchy chorus 1 and an even stronger chorus 2.

Janick's solo is actually pretty good, and not as sloppy as usual. The interlude that follows is a little too reminiscent of "Tailgunner", but otherwise strong. Another round of choruses and we get a nice big rock ending.

Janick, why can't you always be this well behaved? 8/10.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
This is my favourite from Brave New World. A beautiful intro suddenly changes into something a bit more ominous, then we're hit with some great mid-paced verses. The pre-chorus adds a little mystery and the chorus itself is brilliant, now we get another appearance from that beautiful intro melody. Janicks solo is very strong, it flows very nicely and has some great phrasing in there. The fast interlude that follows adds a sense of dread and urgency, very fitting for the lyrics. Another chorus and then we get a perfect ending. Nothing is wasted, nothing overstays its welcome. Nice one, Janick.

10
 

Gk1

Ancient Mariner
And now think how.much better the song would be if the guitar melodies were harmonised.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
A really nice soft opening guitar bit begins this song before it grows into a rumbling monster of a riff with some great Bruce singing overtop it. This song is interesting because I look at its structure as if it's Verse / Pre-chorus / Chorus / Post-chorus. It's not quite your typical song. The instrumental section is pretty good too. Strong overall; took a bit of time to grow on me but I like it a lot nowadays. 8
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Beautiful intro (personal favorite) starts this amazing song. As always, Janick delivers. Great lyrics/verses, rhythm, solo and build-up to the song. Powerful drums from Nicko. This song has one of the best choruses in Maiden's discography. I love Adrian's guitar licks under the pre-chorus. The fast part after the solo is fantastic - a unique piece. The song ends with a ''oh-oh'' part which is even more great. A classic, for sure. Sea epic (along with ROTAM and The Talisman)!
I hope Maiden to play it again live. 10/10.
 
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